4 biggest challenges against the Raiders in Week 1

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Can Teddy Bridgewater get enough protection?

There is a huge amount of responsibility on the shoulders of Teddy Bridgewater in 2020. The quarterback was hand-picked as the man to replace iconic signal-caller Cam Newton and this is a second chance at a prominent starting role he has been waiting for.

Bridgewater is accurate enough to get the most out of some exceptional weapons at his disposal. But if he doesn’t get enough protection to through his reads then it is going to hamper the former first-round pick considerably.

The Carolina Panthers potentially have two bookends at the tackle positions in Taylor Moton and veteran left tackle Russell Okung. This should provide Bridgewater with enough protection on the edge. However, there is far more uncertainty surrounding their interior.

John Miller and Michael Schofield arrived in free agency and might start if Dennis Daley is forced to miss out on Week 1 through injury. Center Matt Paradis is coming off a 2019 campaign littered with inconsistencies, so this unit might become a real weak link that the Raiders will look to take advantage of.

Carolina’s scheme is going to be vitally important. Bridgewater needs to get rid of the ball quickly and has some supreme route-runners who should be able to get open and make this happen. The Panthers also have the luxury of the NFL’s best dual-threat weapon in Christian McCaffrey to call upon consistently.

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Everything is in place for Bridgewater to make a real go of this opportunity, providing he is able to stay on his feet.